NHS Commissioning Board

Title of driver: NHS Commissioning Board

Source: NHS Commissioning Board

Link to website

Publication format: Website

Date of publication: October 2012

Summary of driver:
Formally established as an independent body, at arm’s length to the Government, on 1 October 2012, the NHS Commissioning Board will carry forward the preparatory work begun as the NHS Commissioning Board Authority while taking on initial statutory responsibilities. The most notable of these responsibilities is the authorisation of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) which are the drivers of the new, clinically-led commissioning system introduced by the Health and Social Care Act. The NHS Commissioning Board will take up its full statutory duties and responsibilities on 1 April 2013. In the meantime, all current NHS planning and delivery responsibilities will remain with the Department of Health, strategic health authorities and primary care trusts until the end of March 2013.

Key features of driver:
The NHS CB will be responsible for five key areas:

  • Partnerships and relationships – with key partners at local and national level.
  • Direct commissioning – the NHS CB will commission specialised services and primary care services, as well as public health services on behalf of Public Health England. This leaflet provides the detail of the single operating model for primary care commissioning.
  • Quality improvement and clinical leadership – Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will be at the centre of the commissioning process, supported by clinical networks and clinical senates. At national level, the NHS Commissioning Board aims to deliver quality improvements against the NHS Outcomes Framework.
  • Our governing frameworks – the NHS CB is held accountable by a number of frameworks, including the NHS Outcomes Framework and the NHS Constitution.
  • Patient safety – key functions and expertise for patient safety developed by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has been transferred to the NHS Commissioning Board Special Health Authority.

A range of resources and factsheets are available on the Resources section of the NHS CB website.

Primary audience: Commissioning groups and senior managers including Chief Executives from all trusts.

Impact on library policy/practice: A new structure of health services commissioning will inevitably have an impact on the structure of organisations and libraries. The NHS CB will have Local Area Teams (LATs) and their staff will need access to local library and knowledge services to support their knowledge needs – this is a new market. There’s an opportunity for libraries to provide support for commissioning decisions via literature searching services, information skills training, enquiry services and managing knowledge.

Case studies / Local service profile examples mapping to this driver: None currently

Date last updated: 30th January 2013

Due for review: January 2014

Group member responsible: VT



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